Women in Leadership Speaker Series Event

The Walker School welcomed Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder, Kathy Mazzarella, Graybar president and chief executive officer, and Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, Webster University president, on March 19 for a “Women in Leadership” panel discussion. More than 160 guests packed the commons of the East Academic Building to hear their insights on leading.  Watch a video of this event.

Mazzarella encouraged women to make their own path. “Don’t let anybody put you in a box and define what you can or cannot do,” she said.

Regarding the inevitable failures that will occur during one’s career, Mazzarella said, “Too often, people are afraid to take chances because of the visibility of a failure. When you fail, there is an opportunity in how you recover.”

She went on to share a lesson she learned early in her career after she was passed over for a promotion in favor of another colleague. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad. He said, ‘They are watching you, to see how you react [to this disappointment]. How you handle yourself professionally will determine future events.’”

Clark discussed her climb up the corporate ladder.  “A career is a long time,” she said. “You can have multiple careers. I started Build-A-Bear at 48. Your life can evolve. The journey is better than the destination. Encourage other people to grow in their own jobs and seek out opportunities.”

She also offered perspective on the type of job a woman should seek.  “My advice to young women graduating from college is to get a job where you can see the results everyday.  You have to be willing to take risks and find ways to help your company grow.”

Clark, Stroble and Mazzarella

Clark, Stroble and Mazzarella

Stroble underlined those points by Mazzarella and Clark, and encouraged women to freely share their expertise and talents with others. “The most precious gifts are the ones you give away. Anything you hoard is really not yours,” said Stroble. “That’s what being a university president is all about. Webster was founded by women for women, before women had the right to vote.”

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School, closed the event by thanking Stroble, Clark and Mazzarella for a wonderful dialogue.  He then asked the audience to take with them a few thoughts. “May you seek joy and fulfillment in the most challenging places,” he said.

“And in the sage words of Dr. Seuss, ‘Nobody said it would be easy; they just promised it would be worth it’.”

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Frank S. Perri

Join us at the Walker School for renowned criminal attorney Frank S. Perri’s lecture, “Leadership, Organizational Deviance and Corporate Fraud Risk Factors.”  This presentation will be held Thursday, April 23 from 6-8 p.m. at Webster University’s East Academic Building, 545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119.  The event is sponsored in partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – Greater St. Louis Area Chapter #105 (ACFE).  RSVP to attend.

About the Lecture:
In “Leadership, Organizational Deviance and Corporate Fraud Risk Factors” attendees will become familiar with fraud risk factors that apply to an organizational setting.  Topics covered include individual criminal thinking patterns displayed by offenders, deviant leadership traits and strategies leadership utilizes to perpetrate their frauds.  In addition we examine the consequences of a compromised control environment, also referred to as the “tone at the top”, by reviewing social psychological dynamics such as corrupt corporate cultures, the impact of groupthink mind-sets, hierarchical power structures and their influence on employee behaviors that facilitates corporate fraud.  In addition we exam how board of director responsibilities are compromised, challenges in overcoming organizational deviance and potential mitigating factors that may reduce the incidences of corporate fraud.  Diverse examples such as Enron, WorldCom and others will be used to give anti-fraud professionals a model to analyze organizational deviance.

About Frank S. Perri, JD, MBA, CPA, CFE: 
For more than 20 years, Frank S. Perri has worked as a criminal trial attorney.  His research interests include the behavioral profile of white-collar criminals, red-collar crime, fraud-detection homicide and organizational deviance issues.  He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in accounting, legal and psychology journals.  In addition he has lectured to various organizations including the Illinois CPA Society, American Accounting Association, American College of Forensic Examiners, Institute of Internal Auditors, International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, the University of New Mexico and the Wisconsin Homicide Detectives Association. Mr. Perri received his law degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.


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The Story Behind the Gateway Arch

On March 27, 2015, in Speakers, by Walker News
Tracy Campbell Gateway to Arch Talk

Professor Tracy Campbell

On March 27, the Walker School hosted Tracy Campbell, PhD, for a presentation about the Gateway Arch. A renowned historian, Campbell is the author of, “The Gateway Arch: A Biography,” which is a book about complicated and troubling history of St. Louis’ signature monument.

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School, opened the event by welcoming guests and introducing Campbell. He said that while few of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the Arch each year understand the monument’s complicated history, Campbell’s book brings to light the true origins and meaning of this icon. Read Akande’s introduction to Campbell.

Following Akande’s remarks, Campbell began his presentation by sharing the reason why he chose to research the history of the Arch.  ”Behind every great building is the story of what was there before,” he said.

Envisioned in 1947 but not completed until the mid-1960s, Campell described the Arch grounds as, “Some of the most contested soil in U.S. history.” The reason, he explained, was because of the social, political and cultural factors at play during this time.

Tracy Campbell Gateway to Arch Talk

Professor Tracy Campbell

“The Arch is deeply ironic. It is huge and a magnificent work of public art, but it is also symbolic of a flawed strategy of city renewal.”

In addition to discussing the construction of the Arch, Campbell offered insight into the life of architect Eero Saarinen, whose prize-winning design brought him acclaim but also charges of plagiarism. While Saarinen never lived to see the completion of his vision, Campbell described him as a sculptor at-heart and said the Arch was his greatest sculptor.


Dean Benjamin Akande, Professor Tracy Campbell and Associate Dean Peter Maher

In closing, Akande thanked Campbell for being a part of the Walker Speaker Series and he encouraged the audience to find their own arch.

“To find that often illusive arch will require an expansive mind and inventive spirit, a tenacious grip and a brave heart,” Akande said. “While there will be people who will try to steer you onto another path, a safe path, a well-worn path, you must stay the course.”

Following the presentation, Campbell took questions from guests and signed copies of his book.

A video recording of the presentation will be available on the Walker School’s website in April.


Tracy Campbell Gateway to Arch Talk

Dean Benjamin Akande introduces Professor Tracy Campbell

The Walker School hosted Tracy Campbell, PhD, author of The Gateway Arch: A Biography, on March 27.  Prior to Campbell’s presentation, Benjamin Akande, PhD, dean of the Walker School, shared the following remarks:

Good morning and welcome to the Walker Speaker Series.

The Gateway Arch is St. Louis’ signature monument. It defines the city’s place in American history and for nearly half a century has stood as one of the nation’s architectural points of pride and engineering ingenuity. While few of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the Arch each year understand the monument’s complicated history, The Gateway Arch is revered for the way it transforms a simple curve into an awe-inspiring experience of place. It is traditional and modern, disarmingly simple and extraordinarily complex, unadorned yet elegant.

Yet, it is in Tracy Campbell’s award-winning book The Gateway Arch that we come to understand the true origins and meaning of this icon.

A renowned historian, Tracy Campbell specializes in 20th century United States political and social history. He earned his Ph.D. at Duke University and has written many books including: Short of The Glory: The Fall and Redemption of Edward F. Prichard, Jr., which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and The Gateway Arch: A Biography, which was featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” with Scott Simon, XM radio’s “The Bob Edwards Show,” and was selected by the History Book Club. And then The Gateway Arch was chosen as one of the “Best Books of 2013” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and won the 2014 Missouri History Book Award.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gateway Arch in 2015, it’s indeed an honor to welcome to St. Louis and the Walker Speaker Series Dr. Tracy Campbell.

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1-Year MBA Information Sessions

On March 23, 2015, in Announcements, by Walker News

mba-blog-imageFast track your career with Webster University’s 1-Year MBA.

Our 1-year program allows you to build a global network with individualized management coursework that encourages teamwork with other students from around the world. This international perspective is also supplemented with a wide variety of electives for those who either want to become well-rounded professionals or already have a specialty in mind.

Regardless of what you want out of your MBA, you can count on getting global exposure, small classes with personal attention and a real-world approach, all in just one year.

1-Year MBA cohorts are available at Webster University locations in: Webster Groves, Winghaven, Westport and Online.

Attend an information session to learn more:

Wednesday, March 25 from 12-1 p.m.
Webster University’s East Academic Building
545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119

Thursday, March 26 from 5-6 p.m.
Webster University’s East Academic Building
545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119

Tuesday, March 31 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Webster University’s East Academic Building
545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119

Monday, March 30 from 12-12:30 p.m.

RSVP to attend an information session.

More Information:
1-Year MBA Program details including course schedule, fees and application are available online at www.webster.edu/1MBA.



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naturalizationceremonyOn March 20, Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, addressed citizens at the U.S. Naturalization Ceremony.  A Nigerian-born U.S. citizen, Akande shared reflections from his American journey at the ceremony.  Read his full remarks below.

I Believe in You
U.S. Citizen Naturalization Ceremony

My American journey began on a rainy Thursday night of August 24, 1979. As the Pan Am Boeing 747 approached the John F. Kennedy airport, pictures tumbled through my mind – New York City, the Big Apple, the United States of America. As my plane approached the airport, I started to hum and then singing the song by Frank Sinatra “New York, New York”:

Start spreading the news

I want to be a part of it……….

I want to wake up in the city that doesn’t sleep

I’m gonna make a brand new start of it….

If I can make it here,

I’ll make it any where

It’s up to you

Before coming to America, my perception of the country was formed from watching American television: The Love Boat, The Jeffersons, Sesame Street. I could smell the good ol’ American cheeseburgers with everything on it, french-fries, and that ever addictive, American libation – chocolate milkshake!

It’s been almost 36 years since my American journey began, and I must confess to you that I still have many unanswered questions. For instance, why does the fat lady have to sing before it’s over? And, will somebody, please, explain to me why it isn’t over ‘til it’s over?

In my American journey, I met ordinary people who are battling against unimaginable odds, young men and women fighting incurable medical conditions, friends facing physical and mental adversity, and many more dealing with unbelievable economic challenges; yet they refuse to give in, they persevere, unwilling to relent and determined to succeed against all odds.

My journey has taken me to forty-seven states in my quest to gain a greater understanding of America. The visitor in me saw the awesome and overwhelming beauty and power of America. The student in me saw a nation still grappling with the power of and a reluctant appreciation for the greatest heritage America possesses – inclusive excellence.

My quest to know more about the technological and engineering accomplishments of America took me to Orlando, Florida, where I witnessed mind-boggling scientific and technological achievements at Disney World and got a rare opportunity to meet the greatest, biggest, the most celebrated rodent in the world. This warm, fuzzy, sensitive, always smiling rodent called Mickey Mouse was indeed larger than life!

I was impressed with the vision and creativity of the American icon Walt Disney who took a pest, a nuisance to so many people around the world and turned it into a lovable, respectable, kid-loving, billion-dollar icon. When you inquire from the folks at Disney what business they are in, their response is equally impressive: “We are in the happiness business.”

At the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida, as a visitor I witnessed the conception of a dream, its lofty delivery from a simple but delicate physics of a bird in flight to the extra-terrestrial marvel of Neil Armstrong who took one small step for himself and a giant leap for mankind. I gained a new appreciation for the creativity that is unique to America.

One of the most unforgettable experiences in my American journey was my visit to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Upon arrival at the majestic Reagan airport, I hailed a taxi cab to my hotel. And on the way to the hotel, we drove by the National Archives Building, where I saw the bold inscription on the building, “The Past is Prologue.” And so, I inquired from the cab driver, “what does this inscription mean?” The cab driver replied, it means “you ain’t seen nothing yet.” This is America at its best striving to break its own record over and over again to continue its own transformation.

America has taught me that the true litmus test for success is not always how many times you succeed but how quickly you get up when you fall. In times of crisis, it’s easy to point fingers; it’s simpler to find sacrificial lambs. But allow me to say this, leaders don’t grow on trees, you have to develop and prepare them. Leaders don’t grow wary of crisis. They don’t get tired of being brave because they recognize that more success awaits them the day after failure. In America, I have come to believe that failure is just a real time feedback.

I arrived in St. Louis in the summer of 2000 and discovered a wonderful place, a remarkable city on the shores of the mighty Mississippi river, a city known for its inclusive excellence because of its diversity, unique geography and a sunny disposition of the people here.

This is the city that in 1904 did the impossible by hosting the World’s Fair and the Olympics simultaneously. St. Louis showed the world then that it is a creative, innovative, resilient, purposeful place. Today our city is known for many things, including the world champion Cardinals and culinary delicacies like Ted Drewes’ concrete, toasted ravioli, and provel cheese. St. Louis is also renowned for a bridge, the Eads Bridge, which at one time was the largest suspension bridge in the country.

The construction and design of the Eads Bridge set precedent in many other ways. It was the world’s first alloy steel bridge, the first large bridge to span the Mississippi river, and the first to carry railroad tracks. This visionary spirit that brought the Eads Bridge into fruition embodied what was demonstrated dramatically nearly 90 years later with the iconic design and improbable construction of the Gateway Arch. To this day, the arch remains the tallest man-made monument in the United States. Yes, almost twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. This year we will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

One thing is crystal clear from my American journey – it is the realization that it’s not so much where we are that matters, but in what direction we are going. And that is why I remain hopelessly optimistic about the future of America.

And so I urge you, the new citizens, to seek to fundamentally contribute to the America you are inheriting, that you too will bring to this nation what others have brought before us, a new way to strengthen your new nation and to make it a worthy destination for others. But, please, understand that your real contribution is the uniqueness that you represent. We are all originals, and yet so many people spend their lives trying to be copies. I urge you to stay original.

I believe in the resounding ability of people to overcome, to persevere, to make a difference. I believe in you.

Welcome to your new country and God bless the United States of America.



davidstewardhomepageJoin us Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. for a special Speaker Series presentation honoring David Steward, co-founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT). During this event, Steward will share how he has guided WWT from success to significance.

“2015 Walker Person of the Year”
Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m.

Webster University’s East Academic Building
545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119
RSVP to attend this free event.

If you are unable to attend, a recording of the presentation will be made available on the Walker School’s website after the event.

About the Presenter:  David L. Steward founded World Wide Technology in July of 1990. With almost 25 years of experience in the technology industry, he spends the majority of his time developing strategic supplier, customer and employee relationships. He plays a key role in WWT’s pursuit of large contract bids within its industry specific operating companies.  Prior to starting WWT, Steward held various senior-level management positions with Wagner Electric, Missouri Pacific Railroad and Federal Express Corporation.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Central Missouri State University.  He is also the author of “Doing Business by the Good Book: Fifty-Two Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible.” 

About the Walker Person of the Year Award:  Each year, Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology bestows its Person of the Year Award on an innovative and inspirational global corporate leader.  Past recipients of the Walker Person of the Year Award include:  AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, IKEA’s Mikael Ohlsson, IBM’s Sam Palmisano, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Monsanto’s Hugh Grant and Emerson Electric’s David Farr, among others.

Internship Fair at Webster University: April 8

On March 18, 2015, in Events, by Walker News

internshipexpoOn Wednesday, April 8 from 12-2 p.m., Webster University’s Office of Corporate Partnerships will host an Internship Fair in the East Academic Building.

Webster’s Internship Fair will enable you to get your resume in the hands of potential employers who want to hire interns. In addition to strengthening your professional network, you will be eligible to win raffle prizes at the Internship Fair.

Learn more and RSVP to attend.


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Webster University students and faculty

14 students and five faculty members from Webster University attended the 15th Annual Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference, February 20-21, in Lisle, Illinois.  The two-day event supports aspiring artists by providing them with the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills they need to establish and maintain a career as an independent artist.

Associate Professors Barrett Baebler and Joseph Roberts presented and moderated the professional development experience for the group. During the conference, Coleman Faculty Fellow Julia Griffey presented a panel on utilizing social media platforms for launching a business. Associate Professor Joseph Roberts presented opening remarks and introduced Jade Simmons, former Miss Illinois and Friday’s keynote speaker.  Coleman Fellows Chris Sagovac and Kathy Corley were also in attendance.


Kristie Lyon

Kristie Lyon, an undergraduate student pursuing a Certificate in Entrepreneurship at Webster, received a Judge’s Choice Award for her photography at the SEA Conference.  “Through my entrepreneurship courses at Webster and my experience at the SEA Conference, and I am better able to think outside the box, lean on others, pull people into my idea and make things happen with knowledge, understanding and putting myself out there,” she said.  “It is exciting to meet people just like me who are doing what they love and getting paid for it.  I know now that this can be me.”

To learn more about this and other activities, contact Webster’s Entrepreneurship Club President, Gypsi, at gypsistudio@gmail.com.  To learn more about Webster University’s Certificates in Entrepreneurship, visit this website: http://www.webster.edu/catalog/2014-2015/undergraduate-catalog/certificates/entrepreneurship.html.  For additional information, contact Webster’s director of the Entrepreneurship Program, Dr. Joe Roberts, at joeroberts@webster.edu.

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Lori Sharp Named Adjunct Faculty Administrator

On March 6, 2015, in Announcements, by Walker News

Lori Sharp

Lori Sharp has been named as the Adjunct Faculty Administrator for the Walker School.  In this role, she will work to ensure that the best adjunct faculty members are in the classroom and that they feel supported and integral to the institution. More specifically, her duties include developing, implementing and providing oversight of consistent system-wide processes for recruiting, hiring and on-boarding, as well as the evaluation and development of faculty. Her appointment to this position supports the Walker School’s strategy of building structures and processes to attract, retain, recruit and orient Walker adjunct faculty.

Sharp has been with Webster University for ten years, most recently serving as Assistant Director of Walker EDGE and the Global Internship Experience.  Prior to this, she worked within Webster University’s Academic Advising Center as a senior academic advisor and lead advisor for Walker School of Business & Technology programs.  She was a fellow in the 2013 Global Leadership Academy cohort and has a well-earned reputation at Webster as an analytical problem-solver with strong institutional knowledge and outstanding organizational skills.

To contact Lori Sharp, please note her new email address: lorisharp08@webster.edu.


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